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Full text of "Byzantine Churches In Constantinople"

zo8                         BYZANTINE CHURCHES                       CHAP.
Airan (a mixture of curds and water)^ and he was called Dogulu Ded6 because during the siege his business was to distribute that drink to the troops. At his request a Christian church near Aivan Serai was converted into a mosque. The church was formerly named after its founder^ Isakias.'l Another Turkish explanation of Toklou derives the epithet from the rare Turkish term for a yearling lamb^ and accounts for its bestowal upon Ibrahim Ded6 as a pet name given in gratitude for his services to the thirsty soldiers engaged in the siege of the city.2 In keeping with these stories is the tradition that the cemetery in the area between the Walls of Heraclius and Leo V. the Armenian, is the resting-place of Saracen warriors who fell in the siege of 673. But have we not here the fancy-bred tales which Oriental imagination weaves to veil its ignorance of real facts ? When etymology or history fails, romance is substituted. We may as well believe the tradition that the body of Eyoub, the standard-bearer of Mahomet^ lies buried at the head of the Golden Horn? in the mosque of Eyoub, where the Sultan girds the sword on his accession to the throne. No Moslem graves could have been tolerated between the lines of the city's fortification in Byzantine days. The cemetery between the old walls near Toklou Ibrahim Ded6 Mesjedi must therefore be later than the Turkish conquest. And as soon as Moslems were laid there, it was almost inevitable that a church in the immediate neighbourhood should either be destroyed or converted into a mosque. By what name that mosque would thenceforth become known was, of course, an open question. The new name might be purely Turkish. But when it sounds like the echo of a name which we know belonged to a Byzantine building in this quarter of the city before Turkish times, it is more reasonable to regard the new name as a transformation of the earlier Greek term, than to derive it from fine-spun etymological fancies and historical blunders. The identification, therefore, of Toklou Ibrahim Dede Mesjedi
1  For this information I am indebted to Rev. H, O. D wight, LLD, late of the American Board of Missions in Constantinople.
2  Paspates, p. 357, note.